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Rhythm and Blues Revue

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Rhythm and Blues Revue

Publication date 1955
Topics musical
Publisher Studio Films Inc.
Musical variety show filmed at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York City featuring a cast of popular African-American performers: Willie Bryant, Freddie Robinson, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Faye Adams, Bill Bailey, Herb Jeffries, Amos Milburn, Sarah Vaughan, Nipsey Russell, Big Joe Turner, Martha Davis, Little Buck, Nat 'King' Cole, Mantan Moreland, Cab Calloway and Ruth Brown.

You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.


Reviewer: picfixer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 24, 2012
Subject: Absolutely first rate!
Swing! R & B! Dancing! Comedy! With Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, Bill Bailey, Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie, Delta Rhythm Boys, Nat King Cole, Mantan Moreland, Nipsy Russell and many more! Don't miss this one. It's fun from beginning to end.

Good video and audio. If you have Aimersoft or similar video conversion software, you can quickly convert the 3.3GB download to a 760MB MP4 (1200kb/sec bit rate) with no loss of apparent quality.
Reviewer: totalfreestyle - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 30, 2011
Subject: HELP! Is This Video Actually Public Domain?
This is a great video and I was hoping to be able to use a few seconds of it for a live stage show projected on a screen on stage in front of a live audience (free show). The show will be recorded and eventually will be shown on PBS stations in the country and finally sold on DVD.
I can't find the actual owner of the video and it appears to be public domain but I don't want someone to come out of the woodwork one day and sue my boss for using a clip from this video. This has been a very timely process trying to find the company who owns the legal rights or licensing for this video. Anyone have any idea if it's actually public domain because someone didn't renew the rights to the video and if it can be used?
Thank you for your help.
Reviewer: The Bridge - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 18, 2010
Hey folks, here is some of our wonderful musical history, thank you thank you to those who made this, and to those who put it up at so that many can enjoy the efforts of all who contriubted, talents which contributed to the over all effort.
If you are a music lover such as I then it's well worth - at least - takin' a look see.
Reviewer: dkril - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 25, 2010
Subject: Is this actually one show?
Good film. But why is Willie Bryant wearing a different tie when introducing Cab Calloway?
Reviewer: pageV - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 1, 2006
Subject: This show is available on DVD
This show and another one called Rock N Roll Revue are available on one DVD. It is currently being sold by one of the $1 DVD companies in stores such as WalMart, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, etc. I highly recommend looking for it the next time you are in or nearby one of these discount stores. It's also possible to buy this DVD through Amazon for about $2.50. The other show also has now-famous legends but the only name I can remember at the moment is Larry Darnell. As another reviewer pointed out, most of these songs were not released by the musicians who performed them here; in many cases this is the only record of their performance of a particular song. In that sense, these shows are priceless.
Reviewer: icemacsea - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 30, 2006
Subject: Viewing and listening tip
The soundtrack has some constant garbage on the left track, but the right track is pretty clean. If you watch this one with the VLC player, under the Audio menu, choose Audio Channels->Right. This makes a big difference.
Reviewer: ARossi - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 17, 2006
Subject: Sarah Vaughan and Nat King Cole performances
Those are the best bits of this program, although the other musicians (and let's not for get Bill Bailey's dancing) are also great. The comedy bits leave something to be desired, but Sarah and Nat make up for it.
Reviewer: GirdwoodTelevision - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 8, 2006
Subject: New Archive!
Someone was kind enough to upload a better copy of this program. here's the link:

Granted, THAT one's only 320x240, but I think the audio's a lot better, and you'd never guess it was half size when you see it on TV. I don't remember how THIS version ends, but the new dub seems to be missing the last seconds.
Reviewer: LaMarr Bruister - favoritefavorite - January 2, 2006
Subject: Good music; poor synchronization
The synchronization on this file is extremely poor. The audio does not link up with the visuals at all. The music's pretty good, and the comedy skits are a mixed bag, but overall, I can't really recommend this download due to the synchronization problems, which is truly unfortunate, because this film is unavailable on VHS or DVD.
Reviewer: jimelena - favoritefavorite - November 28, 2005
Subject: Not so good
Yes they are great performers, but doing a decidedly slanted performance.
This is not the stage shows you would see normally. Instead it is an attempt to sell music to a larger, evidently white, public.
"Popular Music Revue" would be a better title, there is very little R&B.
Reviewer: R. Rietdijk - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 11, 2005
Subject: Absolutely recommended!
This is a wonderful film for all music freaks who love the 'old days' of jazz.

One downbeat:
I downloaded the MPEG2 and it isn't sync all the time. Quality is nice, however and with some editing one can do a decent sound relay.

Thank you Internet Archive for this wonderful film!
Reviewer: bobsluckycat - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 9, 2005
Subject: One Of The First, One Of The Best
This is a super treat! This film was made for the Black audiences of the day and was booked in Black strong-holds such as New York, Chicago,Washington and in the mostly still "separate but equal" parts of the country where the ticket buyers flocked to see their own. Sadly for people like me, this picture would never have gotten booked down in the 99 and 44/100 percent white areas of the country and it should have been. This is great, fresh entertainment and musicianship still after 50 years. The 3 camera technic, the excellant sound quality (mostly live on film)is as good as it got for 1955. The artists are now, almost to a person, legendary, renowned and world famous as the pioneers that brought R & B into the Pop and Rock-n-Roll mainstream. Sadly, it's also the only film record we have of many of these artists. I would have liked to have seen this film in 1955, but I was still delighted to see it in 2005. The song selection is different and a little odd. Except for Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle, And Roll" and Amos Milburn's "Bad, Bad Whiskey" nobody was doing a current or big hit record. Nat "King" Cole's number is so odd and obscure, for him, that you have to see it to believe it. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Jah Gussi - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 8, 2005
Subject: Harlem Review
Nice mix of music history just download it if you enjoy this sort of music it's well worth it.
Reviewer: obieone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 3, 2005
Subject: Lively
Talent is talent. This show ran like an old Vaudeville show. It was filmed in 1955 about the time Rock and Roll really took off. Lionel Hampton is just a fresh today as it was then. "Minnie the Moocher" was Cab Calloways hallmark and he can never go wrong with it. This film may not appeal to all, but it is a page right out of the music history book.

You will find that you will be finger snapping and toe tapping to this cavalcade of talent. I always look at each movie like a book, so many genra's, some entertain, some terrify, some are ho hum.

This kept my attention. It is a real Gem!!!
Reviewer: WordCooper - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 19, 2004
Subject: The Divine One
A nice historical document, but what makes it sparkle is a short number by Sarah Vaughan (or Vaughn, as they spell it). She is young and sassy. Wow!

Most of the jokes are pretty stale. The patter is even flatter--dated like an old (or even recent) Bob Hope Special. Most of the songs seem to be more rhythm than blues. A decent variety show with some diamonds like Sarah and Nat King Cole. If your only exposure to Cab Calloway is the Blues Brothers, then watch put a little more pep into this rendition. The second half is better than the first.
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